For many of us, the days of sticking up posters from game magazines – or folded print inserts from games themselves – is a thing of the past. Even those classier posters we held onto might now suffer from poor print quality, are dog-eared and faded, or have been disavowed from display by our partners.
Still, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a dedicated space to gaming. It may be filled with consoles and games – and, of course, the various trinkets you might’ve amassed with various collector’s editions – yet your walls may still be bare.
Luckily, art has a way of adapting to the more mature gamer – and there are a few places you can get those prints that reflect your love for gaming, without annoying significant others who may not appreciate the posters of old that we loved so much.
Dorothy’s Game Map – Original Open Edition
Dorothy’s ‘Game Map – Original Open Edition’.
First up is a glorious street map from Dorothy, based here in the UK. For just £25 plus £8 international delivery (approximately $43), you get a stunning cartographic effort that must have taken months to design. It’s unsurprisingly based on a specific area of Tokyo, and along its streets, on its buildings and in its parks are over 500 cleverly integrated game names.
Some are more obvious: Street Fighter on a main road; Monkey Island and Yoshi’s Island floating in the water; Castle Wolfenstein and Hyrule Castle in their own fields. There’s also a bunch of lesser-known titles that make it perfect if you want to explore some old classics. Given how overwhelmingly packed it is with game references, you could find yourself spotting something new weeks after putting it on display.
What’s more, Dorothy has carefully curated specific areas by genre or theme, including horror (the Silent Hill region), sports (hosting Track and Field and Family Stadium) and the Super Mario franchise (Donkey Kong Land and Mario’s Cement Factory, to name a couple). Very clever indeed.
You can check out Dorothy’s Game Map here.
Pop Chart’s Chart of Controllers
Pop Chart’s ‘Chart of Controllers’.
Pop Chart (formerly Pop Chart Lab) is a company based in New York City that painstakingly researches its carefully curated prints. It appeared on my radar when it created a now-discontinued print run charting the three eras of The Beatles, linking each of the band members to every song they wrote by the instruments they played on them.
Luckily, it’s applied its design wizardry to gaming. Its most recent project – The Chart of Controllers, costing $40 – categorizes every official peripheral ever produced (unless you count R.O.B. as a controller), from the earliest Atari joystick right through to the DualShock 4.
Covering seven decades of gaming, this superb design carefully groups each piece by section, from standalone handhelds like the Neo Geo Pocket Color right through to light guns like the Sega Menacer. And, of course, the NES Power Glove. It’s so bad.
Take a look at Pop Chart’s superb history of controllers here.
Pretty much everything by Marinko Illustration
‘Super Smash Bros.’ by Marinko Illustration.
While ranges on BigCartel can be a little hit and miss at the best of times, Marinko Illustration has a knack for producing incredible designs, reimagining games as film posters. The unbelievably talented Marinko Milosevski’s influences are balanced and not bogged down with references to other movies, making the selection truly unique.
Highlights include its Metal Gear Solid 3 print that draws upon the JOIN, or DIE poster popularly attributed to Benjamin Franklin; a beautifully colorized Super Smash Bros. print, perfect to celebrate the franchise’s recent 20th anniversary; and a glorious 80s take on Super Metroid.
If you want something even more stylized – a print so subtle that even your most eagle-eyed gamer friends may not realize at first glance – you can opt for Japanese versions of the posters instead. Marinko’s Japanese Star Fox 64 poster is our particular favorite.
Browse Marinko Illustration’s various ranges here.
Society6 – if you’ve got enough time to explore it
‘Eevee PKMN’ by young British artist Rebekhaart, on Society6.
REBEKHAART / SOCIETY6
While the likes of Etsy are well-established purveyors of handmade art, it doesn’t specialize in gaming in the way that Society6 does.
With over 1,000 user-submitted prints to choose from, there’s bound to be something from a franchise you love – that’s if you’re patient enough to sift through the site, avoiding the lazier crossover pieces and those apparently hilarious “Can’t Hear You, I’m Gaming!”-style designs your mom has probably bought you in the past.